September 2016: Newsletter 382

August Day Meeting

On a pleasant morning 19 members gathered at the home of John & Winsome. This is always a lovely home to visit and we were surrounded by orchids as we had our mix and mingle morning tea.

The star of the display is John’s indoor orchid cabinet, containing an amazing collection of plants, many of which John has mounted on artificial ‘branches’ or has hanging around the sides. The soft ‘grow’ lights, fan ventilation and a little heating and watering has these plants growing very happily. Read about the accidental 1829 invention of the Wardian Case here.

John has also developed an area extending from the lounge, like a large airy sun-porch, and here he has a wide range of orchids happily growing and flowering. But wait, there are more. There is a healthy incursion of Phallies into the lounge and other flat areas around the house. The dread disease has taken hold!

It was a delight to visit and not only admire the orchids but the very productive raised vege gardens, flowers and shrubs. The property is looking a picture, and we thank you for the invitation.

Evening Meeting, August 16

Present: 32 members.

Our speaker was our own club member, Helen McDonald, who visited the Asia Pacific Orchid Show & Conference in Bangkok in March this year. Helen was invited to join a group of others to judge the Export Flowers section of the show, a rather daunting task with no previous experience in this area.

The orchid cut flower and export industry in Thailand is huge and great status is placed on winning at their National Orchid Show. Helen and the other judges were given special sessions on the classes and requirements and were then taken on a tour of some of the large orchid flower farms.

This was the main area that Helen concentrated on with her Powerpoint talk as it was so new and interesting – following an orchid from deflasking right through to the selection of stems for export and display at the show.

Every aspect of deflasking, potting, repotting, growing orchids in these huge flower farms is a lesson in time and motion, simplicity, cleanliness and efficiency. Helen’s talk and photos gave us an insight into vast shade-cloth covered hectares, rows of Dendrobiums taller than the staff, display plants growing up concrete posts, plants in wire baskets growing in charcoal, and beautiful healthy plants.

When the flowering canes were picked, a water vial was slipped over the end of the cane and they were graded for quality. First grade were packed in numbered groups of stems in sleeves, second grade in boxes, third grade individual flowers wired into sets and fourth  grade became individual petals and lips wired into leis. Absolutely nothing wasted.

Helen’s group went on to visit another three farms, seeing organically grown Vandas in empty wire baskets, no mix, with roots hanging a metre below the basket. The flowers were enormous, larger than a man’s hand. Another stop had wonderful displays of orchids growing outside in beautiful garden settings. Watch a 5-minute video on orchid farming in Thailand.

At the Orchid Show itself, the displays of orchids were unbelievable, with massed groupings of species, amazing walls of flowers and colour, floral art and living gardens. Helen’s area of export cut flowers covered eight benches, each exhibitor provided with a white vase containing oasis. Ten stems per vase for Epis, Cattleas, Dens, Phallies, Vandas and Paphs.

The best way to cover the talk is to show some more beautiful photos. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful experiences Helen, and for the time and effort in preparing your Powerpoint display. Watch a 4-minute video of the show’s displays.

Popular Vote,  August 2016

Helen McDonald’s Laelia lundii won the vote.

Barry Curtis: Den. Jonathon’s Glory ‘David’ HCC/ANS X speciosum ‘Daylight Mode’ FCC/AOS 2nd

Cattleya unknown 3rd

Diane Hintz: Paph. Insigne.

Display Plants

(* = Note Correct &/or New Name) [?] = Not Identified]

Barry Curtis: Laelia, Cattleya, Paph. – No names; Paph. Rosy Dawn; Pleurothallis truncata; Coelogyne cristata.

Conrad Coenen: Lycaste skinneri; Paph. unknown ‘Mrs Pepperell’; Potinara Burana Beauty ‘Burana’: Cym. dayanum; Cattleya Tuakau Trinket.

Brian & Natalie Simmonds: Onc. ornithorhynchum; Den. Jonathon’s Glory.

Helen McDonald: Masdevallia veitchiana ‘Prince des Galles’ C. Doris x Byron;

Diane Hintz: Paph. Leeanum; Onc. Gold Dust; Rsc. Samantha Duncan ‘Orange Tart’; Onc. Twinkle ‘Weston’; Den. Colonial Sunset.

Wilma Fitzgibbons: Dendrochilum javerii; Restrepia filamentosa; Pleurothallis podoglossa.

Barbara Nalder: Den. King-Wong.

Emma & Jeremy Searle: Cym. King Arthur.

Ute Rank: Cym. Little Nip ‘Pink Dolls’; Masd. schroderiana.

Jan Missen: Cym. Red Beauty ‘Netty’ x Meretta [?] – (?Miretta, ?Marietta) ‘The Globe’; Cym. unnamed (as yet).